Wednesday, April 29, 2009

Pair[ing] Down


In Studio we have been working on a project that both uses light in meditation and celebration.  This might seem difficult to do because a meditative calm state is the extreme opposite of a celebrative state.  My project deals with both medittion and celebration in one single moment. The glow of color that the peice radiates when hit with direct sunlight is a celebration through color and a celebration or highlight of the sphere.  This light source can also be seen as meditative because the glow changes with the light that hits it: the more light, the more it glows.  This is a sort of control of light because it can only glow to a certain extent. When people are in a meditative state they lok for control.  The spherical shape is also a sign of meditation in asian culture. When the two come togeter they create a harmony and a very successful peice.  
Roth speaks about Falling water as “creating a harmony between the natural beauty of the setting and the interior living space”.  It's horizontal cantelevering planes create a meditative feel in this natural environment. The use of materials such as glass and stone celebrate the habitat that the structure is within.

Light/ Shadow

Light and shadow is something that i feel should be considered in all designs. The goldstein house, for example is one that uses light and shadow to make the space part of the landscape. Its use in glass makes the viewer feel as if they are ouside looking down on the maany lights of the city. At night the building illuminates and in the day provides shade and is always reflects into the water on the landscape. john Lautner the designer stated that he “wanted to shape infinite space” and was succesful in doing so through the manipulation of light and choice of shape and materiality.

In studio i created a structure that played with both light and shadow. It was a movable structure that allowed one to interact with it and manipulate their own shadows. Holes are also drilled into individual pieces to let in light filtration.


The ancient Egyptians built the pyramids to clearly juxtapose from the landscape that they were on. They did so by creating objects of great height and linear smooth lime facade contrasting greatly to the flat rocky landscape of Egypt.  

These structures that have stood the tests of time were shed in a different light or transposed at the College Insurance Building.  These buildings were constructed out of glass and iron both juxtaposint and reflecting the environment around it.  The pyramids were also transposed at the Louvre  with a “transparent pyramid in the court, marking the new public entrance.” (Roth 3)


Monday, April 13, 2009

Road Trip


Roots in nature, are what holds up the plant, like a tree for example. They are the strength of the tree, the foundation, and the reason for it’s stability. In life, people associate their roots to their backround; the place and lifestyle that has shaped them from ersonality, to mindset, to even style.  People do not always accept their roots though. Sometimes people try to forget their past to move on to a better future.  In the architectural world we notice both an embracement and retreat from our roots. “America, as a comparatively young country, was anxious to establish a distinctive design identity" (Massy pg 3)  After the civil war Americans turned away from their roots with England and dug into Greek and Roman architecture.  In this case, while one set of roots was denied, the other was embraced.  When Jefferson was building Monticello, He decided to turn to his roots of The greeks and Romans but also embraced American culture. This can be seen in the details and structure of the home.



Concepts come from a variety of places and to the untrained, wouldn’t always make sense. “It was from Behrens that Mies derived the concept of the artist as agent of the taste of the age, and of architecture as being an expression of technical power. He also learned form Behrens a keen appreciation of detail and precision in both design and construction…” (Roth p.469)  This shows that concepts can also even come from other people. Concepts such as these can create a movement.



“Wright exaggerated the horizontal lines to integrate his houses with their praire settings, creating a strong connection with the earth,” (Roth 498).Materiality is key in building upon a concept.  For example Falling water is so successful because Wright decided to use materials and colors to become one with the environment. It many cantaleivering planes are the equivalent of branches or leaves over another. The use of rock brings an organic structure to the building and therefore was a good choice in material. The large use of glass in the space also coorilates to the reflections in the water: a key element in design.


compression : release


Compression and realese was a huge factor in the change of society in the early 19th century. Growing populations compressed architects to build into the sky. This was released with the invention of skyscraper. More and more architects were building up do to necessity. "tall commercial building arose from the pressure of land prices, pressure of population, vertical transportation, masonry construction in to metal frames, and ideas from spans in bridgework"

Wednesday, April 8, 2009

"From Building to Billboard" PA Paper

“The charm of history and its enigmatic lesson consist in the fact that, from age to age, nothing changes and yet everything is completely different.”(Aldous Huxley) One of the biggest “hot spots” in Manhattan, NY (the city of lights) today is Times Square. When standing in the middle of Times square, one gets a rush of the city, its smells, sounds, people, but most importantly it’s sights: lights and billboards engulf the viewer.   At the center of the “square” is what used to be the building that inhabited the largest newspaper company in the country, the New York Times, but is today the largest billboard tower in the world. How did we get from such a stately Gothic style building to concrete, metal, marble, and lights? How did One Times Square go from building to billboard?

            One Times Square's roots go back to the early 20th century when the newspaper, The New York Times was building The Times Tower, its new headquarters in what was then called Long Acre Square. This building was probably one of Eidlitz. As its steel skeleton ascended into the sky, it was covered in brick, terra cotta and limestone. Upon completion in 1904, the 25-story skyscraper, at 395 feet was acknowledged as the second tallest building in the world. As The Times Tower made its presence known, the surrounding area was renamed Times Square which even then with its Broadway theaters and New Year's Eve celebrations (also started by the NY Times) began to become the 'town square' of Manhattan.

After the building was completed in 1904, The Times began to conduct rooftop celebrations for New Years Eve as the official beginning of the New Year, which we heavily connect to time. 1907 Was the start of the ball dropping tradition, which was inhabited from the navy. With it’s height, the tower could be seen for miles around midtown and became the perfect spot for this celebration. Making it an illuminated ball increased its night visibility and was also a chance to show off a new technology - electricity. It's been an annual tradition ever since.

Its first actual connection to the sign industry was in 1928 when the New York Times encircled its building with its famous "zipper" headliner. This was one of the earliest outdoor message reader boards that provided the passing public with electronic messages about the breaking news as it happened. In an interesting note, Times Square is now flooded with various evolved reader boards (Reuters, ABC, Morgan Stanley, etc) all based on the original 1928 Times Tower electric message board.

The Times Tower Douglas Leigh in 1961. This was the man who brought animated billboards to Times Square and immortalized Time Square with its famous Camel billboard with its smoking ring. To modernize its look, the entire building was renovated with a sleek marble exterior of vertical columns and panels. Even with its white vertical corrugated look, it continued its original traditions of displaying the zipper around the building and on top, the ball drop at the stroke of midnight, New Years Eve.

            Times square has been not only the center of the crossroads in NY but also of the World since the 19th century but it’s icon, the times building, has gone through drastic change through the years. Whether it’s money making was on the inside; full of writers and editors, or on the outside with billboards and not a single tenant, this building has become a success, an icon, and has stood the tests of time.


Tuesday, April 7, 2009

Between Silence and Light

Craft to make or manufacture (an object, objects, product, etc.) with skill and careful attention to detail.

Throughout the year, I have had the word craft drilled into my head is CRAFT. It is one thing to think of a design in your mind because it can become completely different when executed. A key in design execution is always craft. If it is not well crafted, it is not as good of a design. Detail is the most important factor in craft.

On our trip to Monticello I found that craft, of course, was impeccable. This was definitely due to the detail in the structure. In             Monticello, Jefferson’s idea was to have an exotic home based off of roman and Greek architecture but also wanted to remind viewers that his home was an American home. He executed this through detail, my personal favorite egg corns in the moldings.



There are many techniques that can be used to separate public from private. One such method is progression through space such as homes that were created during 15th century France.  These homes wer built to entertain guests at certain points in the house while secluded to outsiders in other areas.  This was executed through progression. The room that one would first enter in the home would be the most public and as you went farther back the rooms would become those that only the home owner or the servants would be allowed to enter.


technique technical skill; ability to apply procedures or methods so as to effect a desired result.



communication of meaning in any way; medium that is expressive, significant


vir·tu·al Being in essence or effect, not in fact; as, the virtual presence of a man in his agent or substitute.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009


My approach to this assignment was not only to use different media and paper but also several techniques. The first technique which i thought was one of my most successful was marker. It was my first time using it and i feel like i really captured light well.
The second approach was